The Raiders have a couple of aging running backs on their roster, and it's possible they might want to move on from Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin next spring.
Rodney Anderson missed the early stages of 2017 because of a neck injury, but was dominant after that, displaying a great mix of size and athleticism. Anderson was accused of rape, which is why he disappeared in my 2019 NFL Mock Draft for a while, but the charges were not pursued by the disrict attorney.
Rd. 2, Pk. 22
Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami
I have my doubts about Martavis Bryant, and Jordy Nelson won't be in Oakland for very long.
Ahmmon Richards was highly productive as a freshman, catching 49 passes for 934 yards. He didn't do much this past year because of a hamstring, but he should have a big 2018 campaign.
The Raiders could use an upgrade at middle linebacker. Davis is an instant plug-and-play contributor for Oakland. His intelligence and character are a great fit with Khalil Mack and Derek Carr.
Davis collected 60 tackles, two sacks and four passes broken up in 2016. Davis was a strong inside presence who made a ton of clutch tackles for Florida in 2015. He was an unsung hero of one of the best defenses in the nation and was a beast who season in the SEC Championship along with the other late-season games against elite competition. In 2015, Davis totaled 98 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, an interception and 3.5 sacks.
The 6-foot-1, 238-pounder is fast, physical and instinctive. He has sideline-to-sideline speed with the athleticism to be a three-down defender. Davis could be a Mike (middle) or a Will (weakside) linebacker in a 4-3. He also could function on the inside of a 3-4.
The Raiders could use an interior disruptor and pass-rusher.
In 2016, Adams had 44 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes batted and one interception. There were times where he looked like a first-rounder with his size and speed. From a skill-set perspective, Adams is an early round talent, but his motor varies between hot and cold. The 6-foot-3, 308-pounder possesses an interesting body type that could fit as a 4-3 three-technique or a 3-4 defensive end. He had a very good Senior Bowl performance, rushing the passer really well in the one-on-ones.
In 2015, Adams had 44 tackles, three for a loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up. He dominated that season's opener against Louisville and seemed poised for a massive year, but that didn't come to fruition as his motor was too inconsistent. Adams recorded 43 tackles, eight for a loss and three sacks in 2014.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State
The Raiders were able to add Marshawn Lynch, but he isn't a long-term answer. Oakland could use a mid-round pick on one of the many excellent values at running back.
McNichols (5-9, 214) doesn't have great size, but he was a tough runner for Boise State in 2016. The junior averaged 5.4 yards per carry for 1,709 yards with 23 touchdowns. He also had 37 receptions for 474 yards with four touchdowns. As a sophomore, McNichols averaged 5.6 yards per carry for 1,337 yards with 20 touchdowns. He had 51 catches for 460 yards with six scores. McNichols could at least be a back for the passing game in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Vincent Taylor, DT/3-4DE/NT, Oklahoma State
The Raiders could use multiple interior defensive line additions.
Taylor (6-3, 304) is a sleeper prospect who could end up being a nice value pick in the mid-rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has disruptive speed at the point of attack and the strength to fight off blockers. Taylor played well as a junior and decided to skip his senior year. In 2016, Taylor totaled 51 tackles with 13 for a loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up. He recorded 48 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, five sacks and a pass broken up in 2015. Taylor has quality size and athleticism with good upside to develop.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Jordan Sterns, S, Oklahoma State
The Raiders could use some safety depth behind Karl Joseph and Reggie Nelson. Additionally, Nelson is a free agent next year.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Kareem Are, G, Florida State
The Raiders grab some offensive line depth, and Are could be a steal.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Ishmael Zamora, WR, Baylor
The Raiders hosted Zamora and have taken players with character issues in the past.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Hardy Nickerson, ILB/OLB, Illinois
The Raiders further bolster the weak middle of their defense with a good run defender.
<i> 2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 1/29): Roquan Smith, LB </i>
The Raiders could use a feature back for Jon Gruden's offense. Here's a great fit. <br> <br>
Team sources say that Love is better than other smaller backs who have gone in the first round, like David Wilson or Jahvid Best. They think that Love is more on a par with Chris Johnson coming out of East Carolina, except Love isn't as straight-line fast as Johnson, but possesses more elusiveness and moves in the open field. While Love is extremely fast, he is a tougher running back than one would think given his size. He has excellent balance and is able to pick up yards after contact. Scouts have told me that they rate Love higher than Christian McCaffrey for the ability to run between the tackles in the NFL. Love has great vision that, combined with his speed, makes him deadly. One college director told me, "If the other nine guys do their job for a few seconds, this guy is gone." <br> <br>
In 2017, Love averaged a staggering 8.1 yards per carry for 2,118 yards with 19 touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 33 yards. Sources say Love has more receiving potential for the NFL than the numbers illustrate.
The Raiders could use more talent at linebacker. Here's a potential stud. <br> <br>
White (6-1, 255) is a big inside linebacker with excellent instincts. He is a good athlete with the ability to cover in the passing game while also being a stout run defender. In 2017, White totaled 133 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes broken up and one interception. It was a breakout sophomore campaign for White, and if he could have entered the 2018 NFL Draft, he would have graded out similarly to Virginia Tech's Tremaine Edmunds or Georgia's Roquan Smith.
<i> 2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Da'Ron Payne, DT </i>
The Raiders grab a cornerback to pair with Gareon Conley. <br> <br>
In speaking with sources, Beal (6-1, 185) is a cornerback who has created some buzz in the scouting community. He has good height and length for the NFL, but will need to gain some weight and strength to take on big pro receivers. In 2017, Beal has 21 tackles with two interceptions, one forced fumble and 10 passes broken up. He totaled 55 tackles with eight passes broken up last season.
The Raiders could use more talent at linebacker. Here's a versatile player who can help Oakland/Las Vegas in a variety of ways. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Allen was one of the top edge defenders in college football during the 2017 season. The junior totaled seven sacks along with 65 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and three passes batted on the year. Allen produced well as a sophomore in 2016 with 62 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles. One national scout compared Allen to Leonard Floyd coming out of Georgia with Allen's ability to rush off the edge. That scout said Allen isn't as freaky of an athlete as Floyd was and that Allen was not worthy of a top-10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he did grade Allen as a future first-rounder. <br> <br>
Another director of college scouting said they had given Allen a high second-round grade for the 2018 NFL Draft, but thought Allen could have definitely ended up going in the first round if he had not returned to school. That director said Allen was an interesting player because he also can play inside linebacker, whereas Floyd was just an outside edge defender. That college director said that as an inside linebacker, Allen has similarities to current Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham in terms of his height, speed, length, and athleticism in the middle.